• Jen Butler

Sensitivities = Superpowers, pt. 1

I was born with the volume turned way up on life. My hypersensitivity made day-to-day life quite challenging. I could hear electricity and people’s bones creaking, feel other people’s emotions, and see things that most said weren’t there.

Since my teenage years, I’ve maintained a love/hate relationship with some form of antidepressant. Most made me feel like a zombie. Others gave me stomachaches and caused hallucinations. Mostly, I felt nothing. I remember times when I was so numb that I would run red lights to see if I could feel anything.

To be fair, much of my numbness could be attributed to my tendency to self-medicate. After two surgeries to remove early-stage melanoma when I was 22, I found myself enjoying the regular consumption of narcotic pain pills. This, combined with anxiety medication and a few shots of vodka, was a great way to not give a shit.

I had watched movie scenes of addicts withdrawing off of heroin and the like, but I never saw myself like them. I worked full time at a job where I had to be there by 7AM. I was in school full time, happily maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I exercised regularly. I counted calories and watched what I ate. People came to me for advice. I was quick-witted. I mean, sure, I was consuming over a liter of vodka each week, drinking 10+ servings of caffeine each day, obsessing over thoughts of self-harm and suicide, and chewing on pills like Pez. But, me? An addict? No way.

Sometimes I would catch echoes of my inner voice, which resembled more of a hoarse whisper back then. The whisper would tell me to stop numbing myself. Stop drinking. Stop taking these pills. I’ve tried, I would tell the whisper, but without medication, I’ll want to die. Without medication, life is too loud. There is something wrong with me. I need to do this in order to function like a normal person. I need to take the edge off.

I have been operating on these beliefs for over half of my life. But still, no matter how many shots of vodka I guzzled or what type of prescription cocktail I consumed, my inner voice would find a way to be heard. What if you’re not broken? It would challenge me. What if this is part of your journey? What if your sensitivities are your super powers?

On April 5th, 2014, I had my last sip of alcohol. It was a big swig of Grey Goose vodka directly out of the bottle and took place at around 9:30AM. Since that sip, my life has transformed. I pushed forward through withdrawals, cravings, and the increasing volume of life as I released my numbing habits. I researched the brain and how food and alcohol affected it. I changed my diet. I increased my physical activity. I slept more. I started meditating. I thought, What would it look like if I was a healthy, happy person? And I lived that way.

The longer I went without numbing myself, the more I awakened spiritually and emotionally. I isolated for six months because of how overwhelming sober life was and how many new facets of spirituality were being presented. It was during these six months that I finally accepted the presence of a higher power. It was also during these six months that I began to learn how to utilize my sensitivities for good rather than hide from them. I studied energy, intuitive abilities, mediumship, animal communication, and became certified in Reiki, an intuitive healing modality. I opened my mind to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, I was given these sensitivities for a reason.

Throughout my journey, I healed all sorts of stuff. I shed old theories adopted and carried forward from past lives and healed traumas from this life. I transitioned into eating an organic diet of vegetables and grass-fed meats. I switched my laundry detergent and hand soaps and toiletries to all-natural products that were healthier for me and for the earth. I began feeding my brain what it needed, working through the decades of emotional trauma I’d previously suppressed. Because of how clean my lifestyle became, ingesting chemicals in the form of an anti-depressant felt counterintuitive and counterproductive. It no longer felt in alignment with my path.

On January 1st, 2015, I stated my New Years’ Resolution: to get completely off of medication by the end of the year.

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